France2018-05-27T10:56:46+00:00

FRANCE

Region: Europe (EU)

Favorability: 3/5

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Overall, the French government has taken a cautious stance towards cryptocurrency, issuing critical statements towards the possibility of money laundering and other illicit activity, but also recognizing the many important niches that virtual currency can occupy in the financial system. As of late 2017, France’s main financial authority has stated that a more detailed position on cryptocurrency regulation is forthcoming, so start-ups and investors should be prepared for new regulatory guidelines to appear soon.

France is a member of the EU, which puts it under the jurisdiction of the European Securities and Markets Authority, Europe’s securities platform. As of 2017 the ESMA has not taken a specific position on ICOs and cryptocurrency in general. However, the ESMA’s forthcoming MiFID II regulation — in effect from 2018 — addresses FinTech in greater detail than the original MiFID; among other things, this will mean that any startup wishing to hold an ICO needs to grapple with the ever-present question of whether its token counts as a security.

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Legal Status
of Cryptocurrency in France

As of 2014, France’s Ministry of Finance has considered the use of cryptocurrency as legally permissible provided that exchanges comply with protocols to verify users’ identity. Nonetheless, the French government does not yet recognize any virtual currency as having the same currency status as fiat.

Regulation
of ICOs in France

The president of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), France’s financial regulator, expressed a belief in October 2017 that ICOs do not fall under any existing regulation in France, but that his team was in the process of formulating a position. Pending further statements from the AMF, ICOs are effectively unregulated, but start-ups wishing to raise funding with an ICO should be aware that changes may be imminent.

Cryptocurrency
Markets in France

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